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Jaw Pain Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be, Part 2

Did you read our last blog article about jaw pain? Dr. Brooks explained the causes and risk factors of jaw pain and TMD. If not, take a couple minutes to read it here. If you’re sick and tired of your jaw pain, you’ll be glad you did!

So what happens next? What if you have TMJ dysfunction and grind your teeth but don’t know how to stop it? Your Cincinnati TMJ dentist has the answers. Read on!

Diagnosis

First, you need to come in for a consultation to see if you have bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) or TMJ dysfunction. We’ll be able to perform a thorough diagnosis and check out your jaw alignment, bite, and talk to you in detail about pain or discomfort you’ve been experiencing in your teeth, face, jaw, and elsewhere, including headaches. We’ll also ask about your medical history – injury? stress that manifests itself as teeth grinding? – so that we can get a more accurate diagnosis. We’ll take some digital X-rays, too, to get a detailed picture of your jaw and teeth in just minutes.

We’ll also use this time to rule out anything else that could be causing your jaw pain, whether dental or otherwise. For example, if you have tooth pain that you suspect is from bruxism, we might actually find that tooth decay is the real culprit.

Bruxism and TMJ Solutions

We see some patients who have been dealing with undiagnosed jaw pain for years. We don’t want pain to have to be a normal part of your life, though. That’s a big reason that inspired us to treat TMJ pain and bruxism.

Here are some helpful things we can do for you.

  • Nightguards: If you grind your teeth at night, our nightguards are a perfect way to prevent tooth grinding while you sleep. When you place the device in your mouth, you’ll feel how it actually keeps your teeth from touching so that they can’t get damaged – and you can’t do something to cause that jaw pain! Nightguards can also keep your jaw in a more natural position. That helps eliminate the stress placed on it, which also causes the pain or discomfort. (If you remember, we talked about that type of stress in the last blog.) Dr. Brooks understands what your jaw problems are like because he even wears a nightguard himself! And don’t worry – it’s small and comfortable. You’ll get used to it in no time, especially when you wake up without jaw pain!
  • Physical therapy: Sometimes jaw pain can be helped by physical therapy, like learning how to hold and move your jaw in a way that’s more comfortable.
  • Lifestyle changes: Stress and diet (of hard foods or even chewy, sticky foods) can make TMJ pain worse. We can suggest changes that you can make at home to help control your pain.
  • Medication: To help with the pain itself, you may need a pain reliever, such as aspirin, or other medications.
  • Repair damage: If you’ve damaged your teeth from bruxism, we can see whether you need a dental crown to protect your teeth from cracking. Our solutions for CTS, or Cracked Teeth Syndrome, can improve your dental health and keep your teeth from harm! If you have restorations that have succumbed to your bruxism, we can repair or replace them. Sometimes, getting a restoration can help fix an unbalanced bite that had been causing jaw discomfort.
  • Orthodontic treatment: Sometimes orthodontic treatment can help align your jaw and teeth into their proper position, which can reduce the strain on your jaw.

 

Jaw pain isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! Our TMJ experts right here at our Cincinnati dental office can help you say goodbye to your pain for good! Imagine having a normal day with no pain.

For more information on bruxism and your treatment options at Anderson Dental Care, take a look at this video by Dr. Brooks. Then, contact us today for your appointment – and your relief from pain!

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